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What is an Insurance Deductible? by Stephanie Cotell, MD

An insurance deductible is the fixed amount you pay for healthcare services out-of-pocket before your health insurance plan begins to cover any incurred healthcare costs. For example, with a $3,000 deductible, you pay the first $3,000 of covered services yourself. After you meet your required deductible, you will usually only have to pay a copay or coinsurance for covered visits and procedures. In dermatology, the routine procedures performed in the office are considered by insurance to be a minor surgical procedure. This means that procedures such as freezing warts, freezing seborrheic or actinic keratosis, injecting or incising, and draining cysts and removing moles are applied to a deductible. Full-body skin cancer screening exams are encouraged yearly, but the insurance company does not consider them ‘preventative’. They are billed as a regular office visit and count toward your deductible.

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